It’s Demo Day (again)!
But first, here are my past YC posts if you want to check how my older picks have done. If you want to skip to the bottom, you can also see my own evaluation of my past picks for S17 — S21 (I’ve been doing this for a while!)
YC’s classes just keep getting bigger!
The W22 class included: 414 startups, representing 42 (!) different countries, and pitched on 3/28/22 and 3/29/22. Nearly 50% are based outside of the US and New Zealand, Sudan, Uganda, and Costa Rica were represented for the first time.
Despite the growth of the number of YC companies, the accelerator still remains incredibly competitive. YC received more than 17,000 applications for the W22 class, with an acceptance rate of only ~2.4%.
26% of the founders overall were from “underrepresented groups” which, according to YC’s definition, includes women, black, and latinx founders.
W22 companies leaned heavily into B2B and Fintech:
- B2B/Enterprise — 34%
- Fintech (including consumer fintech) — 24%
- Consumer (including consumer healthcare) — 13%
- DevTools — 7%
- Bio/Healthcare (Diagnostics/Therapeutics/Med Device) — 11%
- Education — 2%
- Climate/Energy/Sustainability — 4%
- Proptech — 4%
- Aerospace — 1%
Interested in Investing in Startups Like These?
The Top 10 Companies I’d Invest In
- Grey —Foreign Accounts (USD, GBP, EUR) for Africans
YCombinator Description: Grey provides USD, EUR, and GBP accounts for remote workers in developing countries starting from Africa. For the first time, western companies feel comfortable recruiting skilled workers from anywhere and Grey is making it easy for these workers to receive their salary, save in foreign currency, convert to local currency and spend.
Why I Did Invest: In 2021, the investing and startup world finally woke up to the immense possibility of Africa. With this growth in awareness, many more companies in the US, Europe, and beyond are heavily recruiting on the continent. Grey makes it easier to hire in Africa and pay those employees in any currency.
Grey empowers individuals to create foreign bank accounts and get their own IBANs (International Bank Account Numbers) as well as transfer money to anywhere in the world from their account. This seemingly simple offering lowers costs dramatically for the African worker and empowers them to work beyond their borders.
2. Lenco — Mercury/SVB for Africa
YCombinator Description: Lenco is a multi-currency digital bank for businesses in Africa. With Lenco, retail outlets, hospitality businesses, and startups can easily pay vendors, and suppliers and perform cross-border payments while having access to growth capital.
With Lenco, startups and retailers can easily pay vendors, and suppliers, and perform cross-border payments.
Why I Did Invest: Each and every day 4–5 African startups are raising funding (which in itself is incredible!). Today, these companies often have to rely on local banking solutions that don’t move at startup speed and don’t offer the support and features they need to grow.
Enter Lenco, which is positioning itself as Mercury or Silicon Valley Bank for Africa. This is definitely a product in immense need in Africa. In addition to bank accounts, expense management, and payments, Lenco also offers instant financing to help startups tap into growth capital.
3. Topship — Flexport for Africa
YCombinator Description: Topship is the easiest way for African businesses to export/import cargo freight and parcels to their suppliers, distributors, and customers.
Why I Did Invest: The supply chain is a $300B market in Africa and is growing at 65% every year! Talk about a massive opportunity.
In addition to the massive TAM, Flexport is also a backer of Topship, which says a lot for the opportunity the unicorn company sees in Africa in the next decade.
4. Curacel — Plaid for African Insurance
YCombinator Description: One API to sell & process insurance across Africa.
The company’s goal is to make it easy and pleasant to get & use insurance in emerging markets. They are building the “rails to make insurance work for the next billion Africans.”
Why I Did Invest: Only 3% of Africans have insurance today, but this incredibly low figure is going to change. Fintech has been one of the fastest growing (and most well-funded) sectors of the African economy and Curacel provides a simple way for those startups to sell integrated insurance coverage.
Curacel is Plaid for Insurance, providing all of the major components needed for insurance including sales, distribution, claims, and fraud management/response. The company’s claims API is already functional and has paying clients.
If you believe in African Fintech’s growth trajectory, you should believe in Curacel too!
5. Unlayer — Canva for Email Design and Embeddable Design Tools
YCombinator Description: Unlayer makes embeddable email and web editing software. We provide the essential editing tools that companies need to create successful marketing and engagement campaigns.
Why I Would Invest: Do you remember how difficult graphic design was with Photoshop before Canva came along? Canva destroyed the graphic design learning curve and made designing compelling visuals fast, easy, and fun!
Unlayer has brought similar vastly simplified design tools to two products: Unlayer Studio, which provides an easy collaborative email builder that puts Mailchimp to shame and Unlayer Embed, a plug and play editor for developers who want to bring design tools to their own products.
Unlayer has been live and growing for several years already now and I’m excited to see how participating in YC accelerates their growth even more!
6. Vessel — Universal API for CRMs
YCombinator Description: Vessel is the universal API for CRMs. We make it easy for companies to integrate with their customers’ CRMs. Our vision is to become Plaid for the GTM stack.
Over 91% of companies with 10+ employees use a CRM as the system of record for their customers. Many products want to access this data, but the fragmented CRM market and engineering costs make it an expensive endeavor.
Why I Would Invest: Almost every company of any size uses a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. One of the major challenges with these tools is that once you commit, you’re stuck. Your data is embedded in the CRM and accessing or integrating this data with other data sources is challenging, if not impossible.
Vessel aspires to solve this problem by providing two-way data syncing between Salesforce, Hubspot, Pipedrive (Zoho and Zendesk coming soon). Vessel allows these apps to read and write a variety of CRM objects including Deals, Leads, Contacts, Accounts, Products, and more.
If the company can build strong and lasting connections between these services, the opportunity is massively lucrative. For context, “Data Pipes” provider Segment was bought by Twilio for $3–4B in 2020.
7. Zywa — Neobank for Teenagers in MENA
YCombinator Description: Zywa is the first neobank tailored for teenagers in the Middle East and North Africa. Through Zywa, teens are able to spend, receive and manage money without the need for cash, and they can also get rewards and interact with their friends. Using the app, parents can also send money to their kids, which they can spend securely in the safe environment of their parents’ oversight.
Why I Would Invest: Segmentation and focus are the name of the game for neobank startups today. Customers are sick of one-size-fits-all banking and want their bank to support their unique needs, desires, and lifestyle. Zywa is build for teenagers in the MENA region.
The app lets customers make payments, split bills, set savings goals, and even. earn rewards with every interaction with the app.
If Zywa can crack the Gen Z banking challenge, the opportunity is huge — by 2025, Gen Z will make up about 27% of the worldwide workforce.
8. Orca — Neobank for Gen Z
YCombinator Description: Orca is banking built for Gen Z from the ground up. Send money instantly, split bills with groups, access local discounts and perks, spend and save, and do everything else you could ever ask on Orca — the only financial hub you’ll ever need.
Why I Would Invest: Of course Zywa isn’t the only company going after Gen Z! Orca was recently founded to solve the problem in the US first. The startup offers some similar features to Zywa, but they have leaned big time into local discounts and perks and they are currently in a beta release at the University of Texas.
There’s plenty of opportunity in Gen Z for several neobanks, it will be interesting to see where these startups find their growth levers and stickiest features!
9. Hyperbeam — Embeddable Multiplayer Browsers
YCombinator Description: Hyperbeam is an API that lets multiple users control a shared embeddable web browser. For example, a remote learning company pays us $3,000 per month to use our API to allow their users to play games together on their platform. We are three technical founders from the University of Waterloo, and interned at Facebook, Yahoo, and Lyft. Our technology is battle-tested — We took the infrastructure from a watch party website we previously built and scaled to 150K MAU, and 1M hours streamed per month.
Why I Would Invest: Google Docs, Canva, Figma (and many other companies) have spoiled internet users globally to expect that every service is collaborative. But as any software developer could tell you, building a high quality “multiplayer” experience into your app isn’t easy.
Hyperbeam lowers the effort level to build “multiplayer” browsers significantly. There is a large demand for this type of feature across many industries and I’m excited to learn more about their tech and try it myself in the future!
10. Transfez — Brex for SE Asia
YCombinator Description: Transfez provides money management, expense reporting, and rewards for businesses in Indonesia. Additionally, the company offers money transfer services for their SME businesses.
Why I Would Invest: It’s undeniable that Brex was the breakout company from the W17 batch of YC, most recently raising funding in early 2022 at a >$12B valuation.
Transfez aspires to be Brex for Indonesia and SE Asia. The company already offers cards, expense tracking, global payments and more for small businesses and startups in the region and has experienced rapid growth.
It will be fun to watch the company lean into this opportunity, build out their feature set, and sell into the rapidly growing base of SMEs and startups in the region!
- Requestly: Test & Debug Web and Mobile Application API Errors
- Moni: Group Financing for small businesses across Africa
- Credibook: Faire for Indonesia
- Kaagaz: Office Suite for Mobile-first Businesses in India
- Mono: A bank account that integrates LatAm SMEs’ finances and operations
- Duplo: Venmo for B2B in Africa
- Miggos: Wholesale marketplace for mom & pop clothing shops in LATAM
- Anfin: Modern stock trading for Vietnam
- Streak: A neo-banking platform for children in India
- Eazipay: Gusto for Africa
How Have My Picks from Past YC Classes Done?
Too soon to report on the good, the misses, and the ?’s from the S21 YC class! Check back in a few months.
- Moonshot Brands: Raised $21MM Seed Round in several tranches in 2021, and a $160MM Series A in June 2021.
- Treinta: Raised $14.3MM in June 2021 following YC
- VendEase: Raised $3.2MM in October 2021 following YC
- Kredi: Raised $3.1MM in June 2021 following YC
- Atrato: Raised $2.7MM in April 2021 following YC and a $15MM debt round in September 2021.
- Bimaplan: Raised $2.5MM in June 2021 following YC
- Snazzy: Raised $2.2MM in December 2021 following YC
- Gimbooks: Raised undisclosed funding in September 2021 following YC
- Too soon to tell!
- Benga: Rebranded as “Noble” — no disclosed funding
- Djamo: Raised $125k from YC, no other funding announced
- Spenmo: Raised $2MM in August 2020, $35MM Series A in September 2021, and an $85MM Series B in January 2022.
- BukuWarung: Raised a $20MM Seed round in February 2020. Raised a $60MM Series A round in June 2021
- Verifiable: Raised $3MM Seed round in October 2020. Raised $17MM Series A round in August 2021
- Bikayi: Raised $2MM in August 2020, $10.8MM Series A in September 2021
- Finmark: Raised a $5MM Seed round in October 2020. Raised a $6.5MM Seed + round in January 2022
- Dapi: Raised a total of $5.2MM post-YC
- Safepay: Raised $125k as part of YC and an undisclosed round led by Stripe in February 2021
- Panadata: Raised $125k as part of YC and a $1MM Seed round in September 2020
- Decentro: Has not announced the funding size, but most recently raised funding in February 2021
- Bits: Raised $125k as part of YC and no other disclosed funding
- ElectroNeek: Raised a $2.5MM Seed round in March 2020. Raised a $20MM Series A in June 2021
- Robotire: Raised an undisclosed Seed round from Adam Morley and Asymmetry Ventures in November 2020. Raised a $10.6MM Series A in June 2021
- Dashworks: Raised $150k from YC and a $4MM Seed round in January 2022
- Handl: Raised an undisclosed Seed round from Socially Financed in December 2020
- ZeoAuto: Raised a $1MM Seed round from several investors in April 2020
- Spenny: Raised an undisclosed Seed round from CABRA VC and 500 Startups in July 2020
- Grain: Raised an undisclosed Seed round from Urban Innovation Fund in July 2020
- Pilot: Only has raised $120k from YC (or has not disclosed)
- Trimwire: Only has raised $150k from YC (or has not disclosed) — Also had previously raised pre-seed round of $350k
- Narrator: Raised $13.6MM in total funding, including a $6.1MM Seed after YC and a $6.2MM Series A in September 2020
- EARTH AI: Raised $9.3MM in funding, including a $2.5MM Seed round in August 2019 and an additional $5.5MM in August 2021
- Localyze: Raised a $1.3MM Seed round in August 2019. Raised €10.2M Series A in July 2021
- Tandem: Raised $7.5MM in funding, including a Seed round with participation from Andreesen Horowitz
- Well Principled: Raised $2.6MM in funding
- Lezzoo: Has raised $150k from YC (or has not disclosed)
- Metacode: Only has raised $150k from YC (or has not disclosed). 0 employees on LinkedIn. Site doesn’t load. Calling this one dead.
- Apero Health: Only has raised $150k from YC (or has not disclosed). 16 employees as of April 2022
- Soteris: Only has raised $150k from YC (or has not disclosed). 4 employees as of April 2022
- SannTek Labs: Only has raised $150k from YC (or has not disclosed). 1 employee as of April 2022. Appears to have pivoted to “nanotechnology” and rebranded as Zergo.
- CareerKarma: Raised $1.5MM Seed round in July 2019 and raised $10MM Series A in December 2020; $40MM Series B in January 2022
- FlowerCo: Raised $2.8MM seed round in July 2019; $16MM Series A in December 2021
- Skill-lync: Raised ₹1.3B (~$17MM) Series A round in August 2021
- Superb-AI: Raised $2MM seed round in February 2019 and raised $9.3MM Series A in February 2021
- Boundary Layer Technologies: Raised $2.3MM seed round in March 2019; Undisclosed round in October 2020.
- Pronto: Raised $2.2MM in total funding
- CareerTu: Only has raised $150k from YC
- Modern Labor: The website doesn’t load and I don’t see any signs of life, calling this one dead.
- Cherry: Only has raised $150k from YC. Shut down in May 2020.
- YourChoice: Raised $1.6MM Seed round in January 2019. Pivoted to focus on COVID treatments in March 2020. 3employees as of April 2022
- Kyte: Originally a Smart SMS inbox for India — rebranded as KhataBook, raised a $25MM Series A round in September 2019, a $60MM Series B in May 2020, $100MM Series C in August 2021
- OKCredit: Raised $1.7MM Seed round in August 2018 and a $15.5MM Series A in June 2019. Raised $67MM Series B in 2019
- Cambridge Glycoscience: Rebranded as Supplant. Raised $9.1MM Seed in August 2018, $15MM Series A in February 2021. $18MM Series A (2nd close) in October 2021
- Berbix: Raised $2.5MM Seed round in July 2019 and $9MM Series A in August 2020
- Scanwell Health: Raised $3.5MM Seed round in November 2019. 27 employees as of April 2022
- Inscribe: Raised $3MM Seed round in December 2018, $10.5MM Series A in April 2021
- Alpha Vantage: Raised $2.2MM Seed round in 2018, nothing raised since. 5 employees as of April 2022
- Goodly: Raised $1.3MM Seed round in March 2019, nothing raised since. 2employees as of April 2022
- CSPA: Raised $1.5MM Seed round in September 2018, nothing raised since. 16 employees as of April 2022
- Togg: Raised $4MM Seed round in September 2018, nothing raised since. Website does not load
- Veriff: Raised a $7.7M Series A in June 2018, a $15.5MM Convertible note in July 2020, a $69MM Series B in April 2021, a $100MM Series C in January 2022
- Memora Health: $1.7MM Seed round in April 2018. $10.5MM venture round led by a16z in May 2021. $40MM funding round in February 2022
- Sheerly Genius: Raised undisclosed Series A in September 2019 and $30MM Series B in October 2020 Rebranded as Sheertex
- Reverie Labs: Seed round raised in March 2018 (undisclosed) and $25MM Series A in February 2021
- NexGenT: Raised $2MM in January 2018. Raised $15MM Series A in November 2018
- Juni Learning: Raised an additional $790k in January 2018. Raised a $10.5MM Series A in August 2020
- HelloVerify: Undisclosed Series A in March 2019
- Lawyaw: No fundraising since YC. Acquired by Clio in September 2021 for an undisclosed sum.
- Onederful: No fundraising since YC. Acquired by Vyne Dental for an undisclosed amount.
- OpenLand: Raised $2.3M in August 2018 and pivoted into a messaging app. Site no longer loads. Calling this dead
- Standard Cognition: Raised $5MM (October 2017) from Charles River, Initialized Capital, and YC. Raised $40M Series A in November 2018. Raised $35MM Series B in July 2019. Raised $150MM Series C in February 2021
- PayFazz: 457 employees as of September 2021 and closed a convertible note after YC (September 2017). Raised $21M Series A in November 2018. Raised $53MM Series B in July 2020
- Pop Meals/Dahmahkan: Raised $5MM Series A in May 2019. Raised $18MM Series B in February 2020
- PullRequest: Raised a $2.3MM Seed round from Google’s Gradient Ventures in December 2017 and then raised a $10.4M Series A in April 2018
- Zendar: Raised a $10.5MM Series A round in March 2019 and an $8MM venture round in June 2021. $4MM Series B in January 2022
- 70MillionJobs: Finalist in the Social and Culture Technologies Category at SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event. Raised $150k from Quake Capital Partners in March 2019
- Piggy: Pivoted into banking for couples; 21 employees as of April 2022
- Ubiq: Little to no press since YC. The last blog post on the website is 10/30/17. I’m calling this one dead.
- Net30: Similar to Ubiq, little to no press since YC. Haven’t raised money post-YC. I’m calling this one dead.
- Plasticity: Only 2 employees on LinkedIn, no money raised since YC. No press since 2017. I’m calling this one dead.
What YC Startups Did I Miss?
Which were your favorite YC startups from W22 that I missed? Let me know which on Twitter at @amitch5903!